How to make hand sanitiser amid Coronavirus shortage

hand sanitiser

It’s good advice so it’s worth repeating twice: hand washing for 20 seconds is one of the most effective ways to protect against Coronavirus. But it will also come as no surprise that sales of hand sanitiser have rocketed over the past month for when we’re without access to soap and water.

In February alone, it’s estimated that hand sanitiser sales were up 255%.

Does hand sanitiser work?

It's a good option for when you’re on-the-go. But TV doctor Dr Hilary Jones warns that an antibacterial hand gel needs to be at least 60% alcohol content; anything less is ineffective against the virus.

The trouble is, just about any form of hand sanitiser is in short supply right now.

Supermarkets can’t keep up with demand and even luxury hand sanitisers are out of stock. It seems we haven’t shied away from the £25 price tag on Byredo’s Tulipmania Rinse-free Hand Wash.

Even Cult Beauty is recommending you sign up to get priority access to boujee products like Margaret Dabbs The Hand Sanitiser when stock becomes available again.

DIY Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel

According to Dr Hilary, you can make a hand sanitiser cheaply at home in three simple steps:

‘It’s not rocket science. You can make it with two thirds rubbing alcohol (also known as isopropyl alcohol). And one third of your favourite moisturiser – it could be aloe vera gel. And, if you like, a couple of drops of essential oil of your choice.’

For a gel moisturiser base that's rich in aloe vera try Made Beauty Succulent Skin Gel.

Make Beauty Succulent Skin Gel, £25, Net-a-Porter

hand sanitiser

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When it comes to essential oil, lavender is a good option as it has antibacterial properties.

Tisserand Organic Lavender Pure Essential Oil, £9.05, Feelunique

hand sanitiser

Buy it now

However, the preferred option remains to wash your hands. This is because you’re washing the virus off rather than trying to kill it when it's already on your hands.

Be warned, too, that alcohol, while effective, can be very drying so shop one of the best hand creams here.

Fiona Embleton

Fiona Embleton has been a beauty editor for over 10 years, writing and editing beauty copy and testing over 10,000 products. She has previously worked for magazines like Marie Claire, Stylist, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health. Beauty journalism allowed her to marry up her first class degree in English Literature and Language (she’s a stickler for grammar and a self-confessed ingredients geek) with a passion for make-up and skincare, photography and catwalk trends.